Cates gives geography lessons

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:07 AM ET

Wes Cates remains optimistic despite finding himself in one of the toughest battles at Calgary Stampeders training camp.

Not only is the free-agent import running back facing slim odds competing against incumbent tailbacks Joffrey Reynolds, Tony Stallings and David Allen, he arrived at camp with limited credentials.

In fact, the 27-year-old finds himself constantly responding to queries about his alma mater. The training camp guide simply lists his school as 'California.'

So exactly from which Golden State school does he hail?

"I've tried to explain this so many times," said Cates, shaking his head.

"Its full name is California University at Pennsylvania. It's a state school in Pennsylvania in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference."

Although Cates' Div. II school was seemingly misplaced on the wrong side of the continent, he was a four-year starter and is the PSAC's all-time leader in rushing yards and rushing TDs.

His uncle, Larry Cates, was a defensive back with the Stampeders for three seasons (1974-76) and was a teammate of Stamps head coach Tom Higgins for one year.

Wes Cates said he just wants to get an honest look from the coaches while he has limited expectations because of his background.

"Being from a small school and out of football for a year, I wasn't expecting anything or to be handed a job or anything like that," Cates said.

POINTS AFTER: Import RB David Allen returned to action yesterday after missing much of the first week with a strained Achilles tendon. He took reps with the rest of the backs and also saw duty returning punts ... Relegated to spectators are OL Jeff Pilon (high groin), DB Crance Clemons (ankle), LB Hakim Akbar (ham), LB Donnie McClesky (ham), Markus Howell (ham), DL Terrence Patrick (hip, ankle) and DB Jermaine Chatman (knee). Clemons, Howell and possibly Pilon are expected to return to workouts today ... Lineman Tony Sardisco, who played for the Stampeders in 1959 and later captained the AFL's Boston Patriots in the early 1960s, died Sunday. He was 73.


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